Shortstop – Jay Bell
Many of the Pirates’ greatest shortstops of all time played well before awards in baseball were a thing. Honus Wagner and Arky Vaughn never really got a chance to win an award because of the era they played in. So our guy here will be Jay Bell.
Bell was a key cog of the Pittsburgh Pirates roster from his first season with them in 1989 all the way through 1996. Those 8 seasons saw him bat for a solid .269/.339/.402 with a .332 wOBA, and 104 wRC+. Bell only struck out 16.3% of the time while having a decent 8.9% walk rate. Overall, decent numbers for a glove-first shortstop.
Bell won two awards: a Silver Slugger and Gold Glove, both coming in 1993. During that year, the middle infielder batted .310/.392/.437 with a .371 wOBA, and 125 wRC+. He struck out just 17.4% of the time, but his 11% walk rate was a career-best up to that point. Bell had +11 total zone runs as well as 2.2 dWAR at short. Bell racked up an impressive 6.6 fWAR that season, which ended up as a career-best by almost 2 wins.
Jay Bell might not be the first name you think of when you think of all-time Pirate shortstops, but he was a good player nonetheless. He had a solid bat to pair with a strong glove up the middle.